Exposé Online banner

Djabe — Djabe
(Gramy Records GR 004, 1996, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1999-04-01

Djabe Cover art

One thing I enjoy about the current swell of musical activity in Hungary is the way it proves just how deep the well of quality really is. No single person could ever know all that there is to know about a certain genre. Djabe is just one such example of what I mean. And who knows how many others are floundering in obscurity waiting for someone to pick up on them? This eclectic improvising septet resembles Szamaba (see last issue) in how they come at the jazz target from a skewed angle; hearing how they dance around the bulls-eye without ever fully getting into a typical jazzy swing or groove is most curious indeed. Of the 17 short pieces on offer here, just one fits the standard be-bop song structure. But as the CD advances along, the terrain becomes more and more diverse, taking in references to African music ("Ocean"); Brazilian ("Sorcerer"); pre-Columbian Mexico ("Hagar Aim"); and beyond. "Passage," for example, features little more than acoustic guitar and Javanese angklung percussion. As with AT Ensemble, no performer on drum set appears. The material however is much looser and free-flowing than AT, but never completely free-form. A strict structure is always prevalent to anchor the experimental pizazz they emblazon their work with. If in the future Djabe can just hit on a signature style, watch out! Recommended then, especially for the playing dexterity, but be prepared for some style jumping.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Djabe

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Holy Lamb - Salt of the Earth – What’s a prog band from Latvia doing on Mellow singing in fluent English? Looking for an international piece of the pie, I guess, and it looks like to some degree they may get it. I sometimes...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues